New Delhi: The President, Vice-President and Prime Minister have greeted the nation on the occasion of Onam, the festival which marks the beginning of the harvest season.
In his message, President Pranab Mukherjee said, "On the festive occasion of Onam, I convey my heartiest greetings and best wishes to fellow countrymen, especially to my brothers and sisters from Kerala."
He said Onam coincides with the harvest season and marks joyful completion of human efforts with a prayerful optimism for the future.
The President said people regardless of religions or community celebrated the festival with an equal joy, which underlined the secular fabric of our society.
"This unique festival brings out the rich cultural heritage of Kerala in its best form and spirit. On this day, may the joy of Kerala extend to the whole of India," he said.
Vice-President Hamid Ansari in his message said that the mood of rejoicing is vividly captured in the rituals and festivities associated with the festival, which transcends all barriers.
"I extend my warm greetings to all on the joyous occasion of Onam... May this festival bring prosperity and harmony in our lives," Ansari said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also greeted the people on the occasion, saying he hoped the festival would bring happiness and prosperity for all.
In his message, Singh said, "Onam is a celebration of life and hope and a remembrance of the legendary and joyous past. The festival... Is a mark of the secular traditions of Kerala."